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i4c             A  SEARCH  IN SECRET EGYPT
Mecca secretly and make his way across the desert to the city of Medina, where he had a great \velcome and laid the foundation of the first mosque ever built. The day of his entry became the first day of the first year of the new Muslim calendar, although it was In the year 622 of the Christian calendar.
That was the turning point in Islam's fortunes.
The Meccans declared war upon the inhabitants of Medina. A small force led by Muhammed left the latter town and encountered the enemy, completely defeating them. The victors marched on and fought a further battle, which ended indecisively. Still more battles occurred resulting in a strengthening of Muhammed's position. He sent envoys with letters to the King of Greece, the Emperor of Abyssinia, the King of Persia, and the King of Egypt, informing them of the Prophet's mission and message, and inviting them to embrace the religion of Islam.
Seven years after his flight from Mecca, Muhammed set out with his army to return to the city. Because he did not wish to shed blood unnecessarily, he made his followers pile their weapons eight miles away from the city and enter as peaceful men. They were permitted to make their visit and to leave again umolested. But, not long after, the Meccans assisted some tribesmen to massacre Muslims who sought sanctuary in their temple, and Muhammed was compelled to lead his army eastwards to Mecca once again. He took the city, broke up the stone images, peacefully converted the inhabitants, and set up his government there.
Islam now spread all over Arabia, bringing the wild tribes to sit at his feet and learn a higher faith. Muhammed gave his last address to his followers from the back of his camel, on the hill of Arafa.
"I leave the book, the Quran^ for you," he told them, in his customary, slow, deliberate manner; "hold fast to it, or you shall go astray. For this is probably my last pilgrimage. Do not adopt your pre-Isiamk habits and begin to rush at each other's throats after I go; for one day you will have to face Allah, who shall require you to answer for your sins." He reminded them that the Prophet was one like unto them, a man, though a messenger of Allah, and warned them not to worship mere graves.
On an afternoon soon after, he returned to the great Unknown whence he had come; his last words being: